On average, business travelers consider three hotels before booking and 82 percent say loyalty programs matter when making that decision, according to new research out today from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts. Additionally, the study reveals nine in 10 business travelers view rewards points and perks as a motivating factor in selecting a hotel and 81 percent believe being a loyalty member results in better service.
Business travelers are split when it comes to using loyalty rewards on business travel (49 percent) versus use during future leisure stays (43 percent). For road warriors, the top five rewards of a loyalty membership include earning free nights, room upgrades, reward redemption flexibility, express check-in and service perks.
Make it Personal
A vast majority (84 percent) of business travelers feel having a personalized guest experience is important and most believe that experience should differ from that of a leisure trip with 64 percent purchasing different amenities on a business trip than they would otherwise. So, what do business travelers want from a personalized experience?
Business travelers show a very high comfort level with both their companies and hotels using shared information to provide a personalized hotel shopping and guest experience. When it comes to what information they are willing to share, preferred hotel amenities (55 percent), travel itinerary details (42 percent) and favorite types of restaurants or entertainment (39 percent) top the list.
From booking to check-out, our research confirms personalization is highly valuable to business travelers, with many seeking customized hotel experiences that are tailored to fit their business travel needs, said Jessica Collison, GBTA director of research. Both travel buyers and suppliers should evaluate how personalization factors into hotel booking and the guest experience when it comes to building their travel and loyalty programs.
The importance of personalization is one of the recurring themes we hear directly from our Select Guest loyalty program members, said Chad Gaither, vice president of customer relationship management (CRM) and loyalty for Omni Hotels & Resorts. We aim to keep it at the forefront of our messaging as we evaluate and design the overall customer experience. There are many ways to do this, but email messaging, for example, should recognize guests past activity and show appreciation for their loyalty.
An online survey of 500 U.S. business travelers took place between May 22, 2018 and June 1, 2018. Respondents qualified if they were employed full-time or part-time, if they traveled for business at least once in the past year and if they stayed at a hotel during their last business trip.
Download an infographic here with key highlights from the research. A summary of findings, Personalization in Corporate Travel Lodging, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here.
To request an interview with a GBTA or Omni expert for a deeper dive and to learn more about trends in hotel personalization and loyalty programs, please contact Colleen Gallagher.
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